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Small Intestine & Colon Function Basics

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

The small intestinal system and the colon both play an important role in your digestive system. Take care of them and life is much more comfortable. However, the average American diet can wreak havoc on the intestinal system, and an unhealthy intestinal system can lead to a host of other problems.


Small Intestinal System

Reabsorbs water and electrolytes and sends them back into the bloodstream. Eliminates cellular waste and toxins released from cells. Eliminates digestive by-products and indigestible substances.

Colon Function

Includes: large intestine, rectum, and anus. Absorbs water and minerals. Formation and elimination of waste. Houses over 700 species of bacteria, some of which are considered friendly bacteria, that produce vitamin B12, Biotin, and K and protect us against harmful bacteria, virus, and fungus

Did you know....

  • Your diet and health directly influence the diversity of microbes in the intestines?

  • Undigested meat and other foods cause mucus buildup in the colon? This buildup produces toxins that enter the blood’s circulation.

  • Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement causes waste material to build up and become compacted, leading to constipation?

Unhealthy Intestinal System Can Lead To:

  • Fatigue

  • Skin issues

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Bad breath

  • Occasional gas & bloating

  • Irritability

Causes of Occasional Constipation

Causes of constipation can include stress, medication, poor dietary habits, inadequate fiber, dehydration, and lack of exercise.


14 Questions to Help Know if Your Colon May Be Healthy

1. Do you use tobacco?

2. Do you drink alcohol daily?

3. Do you exercise less than 3 times a week for 30 minutes?

4. Do you eat 4 oz. (size of a deck of cards) of red meat more than 3 times per week?

5. Are you overweight?

6. Do you eat fried foods?

7. Do you eat processed meats? (i.e. hot dogs, lunch meat, etc.)

8. Do you have fewer than two bowel movements per day?

9. Is your stool hard and dry?

10. Can you have a bowel movement without straining?

11. Do you delay your bowel movements?

12. Do you eat less than 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily?

13. Do you consume less than 25 grams of fiber per day? (One apple contains 5 grams)

14. Do you have a stressful lifestyle?


A Few Standard American Diet Number

  • Avg. national daily calorie consumption: 3,770 Avg.

  • Global daily calorie consumption: 2,833

  • National overweight and obese children: 33%

  • Global overweight and obese children:12%

  • National annual sugar consumption: 142 pounds per person

  • The national percentage of fast food as part of the daily diet: 55%


Suggestions to Maintain a Healthy Intestinal System

  • Eat more whole grains

  • Avoid white bread, replace it with whole-grain bread with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving (sprouted is best)

  • As you increase your fiber intake, drink at least 8 glasses of fluids a day

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are the natural choices

  • Maintain a Healthy Colon with Colon-Hydrotherapy

  • Slowly increase your intake of healthful foods, allowing your digestive tract to adjust

  • Beans are an excellent source of fiber

  • Read package labels to compare fiber content

Herbal Supplements to Support a Healthy Intestinal System

Aloe Vera Liquid:

Nourishes the digestive and intestinal systems. Soothes internal tissues of the digestive and intestinal tracts. Contain vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. Supports intestinal health.

Psyllium Hulls:

Supports the intestinal system. Is an excellent source of soluble fiber. Encourages regular bowel movements. Helps maintain cholesterol levels already in the normal range.

The 14-day cleansing product helps rid your body of common colon toxins that affect your overall health and supports natural waste elimination to provide a sense of energy and well-being.

Nutrients are absorbed through the small intestine. Because of diet, drugs, coffee, allergies – mucus hardens in the small intestine which prevents the absorption of some or all nutrients. Clean Start Signature Small Intestine Cleanse moves intestinal contents through the digestive system while promoting nutrient absorption. It supports the cleansing of waste and toxins from the body.

Food Enzymes

Breaks down toxins and undigested food to keep your intestinal tract healthy. One capsule digests: 30 g Protein30 g Carbohydrates20 g Fat

Intestinal Soothe & Build

Supports the intestinal system. Helps to ease and soothe a toxic bowel. Provides nutrients that help cleanse the bowel. Restores the bowel to a cleaner, healthier state.

A unique combination of healthful friendly bacteria to help maintain and replenish the intestinal supply. Each capsule contains 6 billion microorganisms.

“29 Small Intestine & Colon Function Basics.” Nature's Sunshine, 25 Aug. 2017,


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